History of Adornment – Part 5

It looks like Tuesdays will be a better day for me than Mondays ☺

I could write much more on the facts, however, I’ve been itchy to get to this part. Adornment of meaning is what resonates for me and I suspect, on some level, for many, many people. And bear with me because my heart and soul connection to this is rattling off ideas, faster than I can type – if it seems a bit lacking in flow and cohesion, I apologize ☺

Adornment of all kinds has been worn ‘in meaning’, as I see it, for centuries. Jewelry adornment was worn to indicate social status and leadership roles in many cultures from early tribes to the Queen of today. In these modern times we can identify a persons ‘tribe’ by a type of symbol they might wear and this sort of adornment either puts us at ease or wards us off – thereby creating more community or discreating community (yes, I made up that word).

I speculate that adornment of all kinds brought recognition of sameness. With the expansive planet – tribes/groups, being so far apart from each other, as migrations occurred, how else might they have understood that members of a group were not to be feared . . . or to be feared.

The Runes of the ancient Germanic peoples, were the evolution of the Italic alphabet. They came to be used as ways of communication. The understanding of Runes in a divinitory way, is a source of a lot of study and a great deal of speculation. What has become an indisputable truth, is, that the symbolic language had meaning and still does. I would further suggest, that Runes were symbolic of communities. Vikings for instance, traveled a great deal, right?! So if you met a Viking, the Runic symbols they wore or displayed on their ships/weapons would give you an indication of weather they were cool Vikings to hang out with. The Rune stones found across the lands in that part of the world, tell you the stories of adventures and the people who took those adventures.

Runes source:http://www.dragonoak.com/runes/Honey-Locust-Elder-Futhark-Rune-Set.html


Today, as with the work I do in fine silver, Runic ‘letters’ demonstrate a meaning that has been evolved to carry similar meaning from the ancient time period. For example, the Elder Futhark Rune, Uruz, means strength. In the ancient time period, Uruz, which literally means Aurochs – a now extinct wild ox – symbolically represented strength – it’s an ox . . . makes sense.

I don’t use Runes for divination – I don’t believe in divination – which is a whole ‘nother story’. I do believe in the strength of a big ‘ol ox and I do believe that the Rune, Uruz, worn as a talisman, helps us to stand firm in our convictions and walk through challenges, drawing on inner strength.

It was believed that if you wore the Evil Eye – you could ward off evil. In case you did not know this, the concept of the Evil Eye spans *all* cultures in the ancient world. Check out this Wikipedia bit I found. I actually didn’t realize how expansive the idea was and still is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_eye.

Modern Evil Eye Jewelry source: http://www.eartisans.net/products/protection-from-the-evil-eye-necklace

Modern Evil Eye Jewelry
source: http://www.eartisans.net/products/protection-from-the-evil-eye-necklace

Imagine for a moment, what would happen if you encountered a person wearing an Evil Eye symbol. Would you feel at ease? Of would you run? ☺

I don’t wear an Evil Eye talisman, it isn’t my thing. and I do know, that I would not run. I would mention and make an effort to strike up conversation, because I would sense, that the person wearing the piece has a similar belief as me – adornment has meaning and value to us. It can create community. It is on our money – considered the “All Seeing Eye”. :)

In Greek societies, adornment connected to the gods and goddesses were seen frequently. Greek key jewelry called “Meandros,” was a traditional symbol dating back to ancient Hellenic times and represents eternity and timelessness. (1) It can be seen in architecture of the time as well. An entire community of peoples were connected to this symbology.

Greek Architecture with Greek 'key'

Greek Architecture with Greek ‘key’

I happen to think that the original square symbol, evolved to what many of us know to be the infinity spiral.

Modern ring with Meandros design

Modern ring with Meandros design

Much of ancient Greek adornment was seen not only as an indicator of slave/ royalty, but also as symbols of good luck, warding off the Evil Eye and homage to the beliefs of the time. There was connectedness in those beliefs and later divisiveness.

The Egyptians, as I shared in series post #3, similarly to the Greeks, created adornment steeped in traditions and beliefs of the time and homage to their gods and goddesses.

The Cartouche, similar to Runes is a series of pictures that represent words and had, a great deal of meaning for royalty of the time. There were other highly ornamental pieces worn by the upper classes.

Among the bracelets, anklets, and beaded adornment, the Ankh, a piece symbolizing “life”, was worn by many ancient Egyptians – across the board,

Evil Eye on papyrus

Evil Eye on papyrus

irrespective of station in life.  The Egyptians also subscribed to a belief in the Evil Eye.

The flow has stopped, and so I will wrap this up. A five part series seems good ☺

Just as we wear particular clothing, or style our hair in a particular way; or have a tattoo (or not) – adornments are symbolic of who we are and what is important to us. They frequently indicate what groups we hang out in.

Additionally, without question, the symbols we wear tell others about us – a wedding ring, a religious symbol – and they often act as talisman of our truth and a reminder to us of the path we are on in our life. They are also beacons to our community . . . a way of connecting to the like minded in our life.

You’d think I’d have mentioned more about the work I do and why I created this series . . . in each of the series posts. AND, I got pretty wrapped up in just the topic. It’s fascinating to me.

I create Resonant Jewelry, in part, because this history is still alive today. People every where, still wear Evil Eye pieces; Ankhs (my dad had one); Greek Meandros; Runes; religious symbols; Kanji. [The last two I have not addressed and I will in future posts.] People every where still need, or require, or desire a piece of meaning. It has value.

So – what do you want to say? What talisman do you need in your life? If you have not perused the site – do. You’ll learn more about me, and what I do. Not everything I make is so serious either – sometimes magyk is downright whimsical. I make delicate fine silver bows, Whimsical Rings and other delightful treasures.

In the mean time, lets have a discussion. Feel free to share your thoughts on the history of adornment and it’s meanings today and how it fits in your life.

Much Love and light,
– which is Greek, the name derived from Delos a Greek Island. Learn more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delos#History

(1) http://www.ehow.com/about_5200428_greek-jewelry-information.html#ixzz2yyoaCsnK

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History of Adornment -Part 5?

Not today, Lovers of Lovelies. :(

I’ve been unwell the last couple of days and so you’ll have to tune in next week. *lessons in writing a blog post early* My apologies.

Here is a tidbit to spark your interest.


A copper alloy piece of jewelry found at a Viking-age site in Denmark shows an animal figure with a beadlike chain around its neck.
Credit: Ole Kastholm/Roskilde Museum

Much love and light!


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History of Adornment – Part 4

21st Century Alchemy - When sneezing attack happens

21st Century Alchemy – When sneezing attack happens

You have to read aaaalllll the way to the end to understand the significance of the intro photo.




China!!  I’m so excited!



Jewelry in Asian countries, such as China, has a history of about 5,000 years old and it was very much a part of their culture.  Jewelry was worn by both sexes to demonstrate status of nobility and wealth. Women wore an assortment of jeweled adornment, which might have included an ornate headdress. The most common piece of jewelry worn by the Chinese were earring(s), worn by both men and women. I found mostly pics of headdresses.

Adornments were often placed in the graves of the dead upon burial. Rulers and high officials were buried with jade items to “protect” them in the afterlife.

In China, jewelry was preferred in silver as compared to gold and often decorated with blue color – glass enameling.  As I recently learned in some history study with my daughter, the Chinese had vast stores of silver and it was a primary metal of trade and highly prized at the time. When you consider the time frame, also, it was not sterling, it was pure or fine silver – Han dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). China’s use of silver as a medium of exchange is reflected in the name for bank “銀行” (literally “silver house” or “silver office”) and for the precious metal and jewel dealer “銀樓” (literally “silver building” or “silver shop”). (1)

The most prized of materials used in Chinese jewelry was jade. Considered not only beautiful, but also tough, jade was often used as a talisman to protect the wearer from evil and as a symbol that prominently indicated the morality of the adorned. It was and still is a sign of luck and when received as a gift, ought to be considered with a great deal of respect.

I want you to take a look at this site: http://primaltrek.com/loopcharms.html.  It is an excellent article on ancient Chinese charms and there is simply not enough time in my life to reframe it for you . . . it is just that delightful.

Additionally, please review this blog.  Stunning pictures and a stunning trip for the blogger: http://www.theglamourai.com/2013/10/historic-adornment.html

So I realize I am kinda phoning it in today :).  I’m having the worse sneezing attack right now and it’s super hard to type. If you haven’t guessed already, I am researching on the go and sharing my discoveries.

I close with this.  For many years I’ve come to see the Chinese culture as something filled with plastic things and melamine in food.  I have known in the back of my mind, that, the ancient people of Asia gifted us with incredible art and adornment, – I use Chops in my work sometimes –  and yet that plastic stuff kept popping up. And the judgment that went with it.  It’s been a lovely journey in revisiting a culture that really delights me in so many ways.  I find fireworks to be a special kind of bling. May you find some of the same delight.

Much love and light,


OH!  And go make something, it will feel good.


(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_standard#China


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History of Adornment – Part 3

Adornment in the jewelry sense, has an interesting history right?!?! It is obvious that early peoples used what was available to them . . . pretty creative . . . super creative, when you think about it. Shells and eggs as beads, plants/berries and other materials of the land as colorants . . . I’m a bit riveted myself.

I changed my mind again. I hope this won’t be confusing. ☺ I want to talk about the Greeks first. I am part Greek, so it works for me and the history is rich with interest.

There have been finds as old and 1600 BC in Greece. They had begun to use “gold”* and gems. It is amazing when I consider how mining is done now and what it must have been like then. I’m not a history major, however, I feel certain there was less digging then. As sources were used up, digging had to occur. In the research I’ve done so far, there is little mention of how the materials were obtained. Honestly, I get this picture of gems and metals just laying around. *Another thing that is interesting, they did not always use pure gold – it was often what is called “electrum” which is a combination of gold and silver with traces of copper and other metals.

By 300 BC – and just so we are clear 1600 BC is earlier than 300 BC – I had to type that for my dyslexic self ☺ So, by 300 BC the Greeks were using pearls, amethyst and emeralds. Gotta love my people for using my three favorite things.

There have also been finds of cameos, from Agates – which if you know anything about agate, it is simply not the easiest thing to carve with a stick or a rock – so how did they do that?

As with many cultures, we will come to see, the people of ancient Greece did not wear jewelry adornment everyday. It wasn’t practical for daily fetching of water, and foraging for foods. Now, even when I look and study history, I still take it for granted that I have a solid roof over my head and there is a grocery store not far away.

So jewelry was worn for special events AND as a sign of social status. So if you were in charge and did not have to chop wood and carry water, you probably had a chance to wear your bling more often.

More than the display of wealth or social standing, there were a great deal of pieces that were representative of the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Just as in these modern times, there are those who wear religiously themed jewelry, the Greeks wore that which represented their beliefs. In that time adornment also had power to fend off the Evil Eye. It also was a sign of the Seer’ or Shaman.

There are Roman and Asian influences seen in early Greek jewelry work, which in the case of the Roman influences, has everything to do with who beat up who. Asian influence would most likely come from trading. It is, however believed that finds from Olbia of “polychrome” butterflies are indigenous design. Olbia is now in modern times an Italian city or “commune”.

What is “polychrome” you ask? It is the technique of creating multi-color objects/architecture. In the case of buildings for example, it was and still is, the use of different colored bricks or stone . . . paint and metals. In jewelry, it is the use of stones, mixed-metals and in some cases pigments of some type and glass . . . melted glass . . . known today as enameling. This bit of delightful knowledge is a perfect segue into Egyptian adornment.

Ancient Egyptians. The first finds of more advanced jewelry are about 3000 – 5000 years old. Earlier finds are of the same type all early peoples played with: shells, eggs, branches and the like.

With more knowledge, awareness and finds of gold and gems, the work became more advanced to include those elements. They used primarily gold, preferring the luxury and look to that, over other metals. Copper and clay pieces were made for the less wealthy.

We do see a lot of gems and color (with glass usually)! Color was significant in it’s meaning. For example, green was a color used to indicate fertility. I have this picture of women looking for husbands, wearing all kinds of green adornment.☺ Turquoise, lapis lazuli and feldspar symbolized good luck, while amethysts represented happiness. Today, amethyst is more a stone of high spirituality – which really is happiness right?!?!

Like the Greek, adornment was used in amulet form to ward off the Evil Eye.  Tutankhamun’s mask demonstrates the sophistication of jewelry making. The facial likeness, created in gold complimented with obsidian and quartz for the eyes, created, to be sure his soul was acknowledged and could, at some point return to the body.

Overall most design is considered Phoenician is style. Phoenician is a society understanding. It is the state-level form of government and marks a period of culture.

What we are most used to from the Ancient Egyptian artisans are: scarab pieces, the Ankh, Cartouches and of course the masks for mummies program ☺. I mean no irreverence, I am truly fascinated by this idea.

As I study this along with you, it is evident to me that ancient cultures had traditions of adornment steeped in belief and meaning and the demonstration of such in the jewelry they made and wore.  There is strong indication as people of the world evolved, so did their ideas and the brilliant designs formed, for us to later study and consider.

I’m having a really great time with this series . . . you? I’m excited to bring you part-4, next week with further examination of adornment and it’s meaning . . . it’s right up my alley.

"Hercules Knot" 698px-Ancient_Greek_jewelry_Pontika_(Ukraina)_300_bC

“Hercules Knot”








Now – go make something!  You know you want to. Much love and light,  Delia

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History of Adornment – Part 2

Based on archeological findings and speculation it’s believed that the first signs of jewelry adornment were over 100,000 years old – the beads of the mud snail. I don’t think there is any way to really know how these ‘beads” may have been used. No Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook then :)

And yet, dating back 75,000 years, those mud snail beads were found in Africa. In Kenya, beads made from ostrich egg shells have been dated to approximately 40,000 years ago.

Early modern humans, aka Cro-Magnons had necklaces and bracelets of bone, teeth, and stone hung on pieces of perhaps animal sinew. In some cases, these pieces had shell or mother-of-pearl on them. In southern Russia, bracelets made of carved mammoth tusk have been found. The Venus of Hohle Fels, shows that it was perhaps intended to be worn as a pendant. The artifact is dated to be between 35,000 and 40,000 years old.

“The figurine was sculpted from a woolly mammoth tusk and had broken into fragments, of which six have been recovered, with the left arm and shoulder still missing. In place of the head, the figurine — which probably took “tens if not hundreds of hours” to carve [5] — has a perforated protrusion, which may have allowed its owner to wear it as an amulet.” (1)

I feel certain that if one studies a great deal of history, these speculations of what these things were, make a lot of sense. Keep in mind that any idea that an artifact is a “bracelet” is based on what a person understands a bracelet to be in his/her present time. It’s certain interesting to consider that ancient peoples wore jewelry. For me, the real question is why? I go back to my theory that it said something about the hierarchy of the group. But that’s just me.

SUPER FASCINATING!  In October of 2012 researchers with the Museum of Ancient History in Lower Austria found a grave of a female jewelry worker – WHAT? The artifacts recovered include tools and have been dated to 2800 years before the birth of Christ. For a very long time, historians have believed the craft of jewelry making was a male-only craft. (2)

I’ve gotten very excited about Egyptian adornment. There is A LOT to share about color and metals and gemstones :). I understand I promised a word about Chinese Finger Guards . . . it’s coming, I promise.

As we progress in this journey of adornment and it’s meanings, things will become more clear – we will have some concrete evidence. AND why do you think early man/woman wore any adornment? What was it about Ostrich egg shells and mud snails, that was so attractive?


Ostrich Beads




Chinese Finger Guards

Til next week . . .  go make something now – even if it’s trouble :)

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Hohle_Fels

(2) http://austrianindependent.com/news/General_News/2012-10-03/12320/Cavewoman_jeweller_rewrites_gender_history

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History of Adornment

One of at least a 5 Part Series

As defined in a dictionary:  noun 1. something that adds attractiveness; ornament; accessory: the adornments and furnishings of a room. 2.ornamentation; embellishment: personal adornment.  (1)

This too:  “An adornment is generally an accessory or ornament worn to enhance the beauty or status of the wearer. They are often worn to embellish, enhance, or distinguish the wearer, and to define cultural, social, or religious status within a specific community. When worn to show economic status, the items are often either rare or prohibitively expensive to others. Adornments are usually colourful, and worn to attract attention.

They have a long history, around the world, from feathers or bone, to modern accessories, such as jewellery.Items of adornment are also used by warriors, and by other members of the military to show rank or achievement.(2)

When you think about adornment, how do you think of it? Does it include clothing, jewelry, wall art, body art . . . how you furnish your home . . . the make-up you wear/don’t wear . . . have you put eyelashes on your car headlights?

I think of it, as all of that. It’s very broad. And in this, the 21 Century, it also includes young men with their pants around their ankles :)

Adornment ‘speaks’. It communicates to the observer and it communicates for the wearer/displayer (yes, I think I made up that word, displayer).

As broad as the topic is, I’m going to stick with adornment as it relates to jewelry (and piercing in the traditional earring sense).  It is after all what I do – create wearable art jewelry – so I will stick to what I know.

100,000 Year Old History – Who Knew?

Beads made from Nassarius gibbosulus shells may be the earliest known forms of personal jewelry.  The Nassarius is a marine creature, commonly known as a “mud snail” here in the US.

Despite my aversion to the idea of wearing the shell of a “mud snail” I was intrigued.

Two shell beads found in Skhul Cave on the slopes of Mount Carmel, Israel are thought to be 100,000 years old More shells, some with red ochre, have been recovered from the Aterian levels at Grotte des Pigeons, Taforalt, Morocco; these Nassarius gibbosulus beads have been dated to about 82,000 years ago. You can learn more using the link referenced at (3).


So I wonder . . . did the ancient people that wore these, do so to look pretty, or was it some other meaning? We may never know, I mean, they are all dead, those people and the creatures that were in the shells, not that they could talk, and I love to speculate. [SQUIRREL]

Did men wear them to indicate the number of animals they killed. Did women wear them to demonstrate the number of men they conquered. :) Did the leader of the group wear them as an indication of his/her leadership?

I’m stopping here for now, hopefully this was some fun-fact-for-thought moments for you.

Hint for next week: Finger guards were worn by the aristocracy in China, as a symbol of their absolute exemption from any sort of manual labor.

Now – go make something . . . even if it’s trouble.
(1) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/adornment
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adornment
(3) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/06/060622-jewelry.html

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It’s March!

Birthstone: Aquamarine   Astrological signs: Pisces and Aries

Aquamarine (aqua) is a Beryl, along with emerald.  Most usually found in Brazil, it is often blue to blue green in color.  It’s clarity and closeness to blue in color, makes it more valuable. Greenish ones don’t sell for as much.  I’ve always viewed the purchase of stones as a purely ‘eye of the beholder thing’.  The true investment in a gemstone is how you feel when you own it.

Stories of old, reference the stone as the ‘sea stone’ and it has long been considered the lucky stone for the sailor.

There is no lab grown aqua equivalent and so, from a metaphysical standpoint, a simulant would not be valuable energetically.

There are a few ideas on the uses of aqua, magykly/spiritually/energetically. Some believe it to be a throat chakra stone and valuable for arthritis .  I was taught that aqua is a meditation stone and beneficial for clarity and calming the nerves. It has always worked well for me.

For our Pisces friends: yellow sapphire, topaz, red coral and pearl are your “lucky gems”. On the heels of the latest retrograde, I’d recommend working with a blue topaz or an aqua.

For the Aries in the crowd: red coral, carnelian, pearl, yellow sapphire, golden topaz and garnet are your “lucky gems” Similarly for Pisces I recommend aqua, and yellow sapphire – rooted in the winds is also excellent for both signs.

Ultimately, as always, I say, have what you love and what resonates for you.  While stones/crystals often have a connection to some energies, they can be cleansed and charged for what is important to you :).

A quick word about lab grown sapphire:  You know I use it often. I am mindful of where my stones come from and I am sensitive to energies of turmoil. So remember, lab sapphire and ruby have the same mineral and chemical components as the natural stone. So if a natural yellow sapphire seems crazy expensive to you, consider a lab grown stone and I do have some :).

I saw some pretty aqua’s at this site: Gem Select

Lastly, I have in stock, some natural rough aqua and a few faceted pieces and some really lovely simulated ones.  Let me know if you have an interest – additional pics and pricing by request :)

Much love and light,


Rough Aqua Simulated Aqua Natural Golden-Yellow Sapphire   Blue Topaz

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We are under-construction…

Hello lovers of lovelies!

Please do not adjust your set. Uh, hmm… I mean computer. We are under construction as I upgrade and update my site. Site will continue to run, Facebook Fan Page is hot and in action, and of course I’m still live at Crafted.

Thank you for your patience as I play and dazzle!


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A Crooked Path: New Moves at Crafted!

At the stores on my b-day“Crooked path?” What does that mean Delia?

It means, for me, that my life and my work are never traveled in straight lines. The journey has curves and valleys. However, in an effort to be a ‘business woman,’ setting up good practices, I started pacing in a rut… In an effort to remain committed and determined, I kept repeating the same practices and expecting different results. You know, “how they define insanity.” :)

At this point in my magykal crafting I realized it was time for some big changes, and so I moved the store. Yes, I gave up my double-wide store space in Crafted Port at the Port of Los Angeles, and out of the ashes of one space I rise again in another! “Phoenyx Magyk!”

I am pleased to announce my ‘partnership’ with Suzanne Colucci of Belandaria Designs!

In our wonderful new shared space you can find us crafting, laughing, and expanding in new crafty-cahoots, front and center at Crafted, Studio #A152.
Thank you as always for your stupendous support!
Love-love-loveity-love your support, hurrah’s and friendship!
Be well!Delia
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Class at Crafted! Intro: Metal Clay!

CRAFTED-badge-with-starMini-intro to Metal Clay
Sunday, January 26, 2014 • 2 – 5p
@ Crafted at The Port of Los Angeles

$85 – includes instruction, handout, pack of clay, one small gemstone and use of any and all necessary tools and materials to complete the project.  You need only bring water and eye magnification if that is useful to you.

You will learn to produce a pendant from silver clay.  This material is fine silver particles combined with an organic clay binder that when burned away leaves the maker with pure silver (no copper alloy).  Your instructor, Delia Marsellos-Traister, is an accomplished metal clay artisan, certified through Rio Grande and the PMC Connection.  I will walk you through the entire process from concept to completion.

Advanced registration is REQUIRED.
The paid registration deadline is the MONDAY before the class.

Questions? e: delia@phoenixmagyk.com / p: 626/375-9839

Be well!


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